Minergy has been granted a mining license by the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to develop a mine in the Mmambula coalfield of Botswana.
The awarding of a mining license marks a significant milestone for Minergy, which listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in April 2017. Minergy intends delivering high-quality coal to the regional market, including Botswana and South Africa, and enter into the international seaborne thermal coal export market.
The company owns 100% of the 390 million tonne (Mt) Masama coal project in the Mmambula Coalfield, in south west Botswana, 50km north of Gaborone. The open-cast, low-strip ratio mine has the potential to produce about 2.4 metric tonnes per annum (Mtpa)) of coal within a year after opening.
The granting of the mining license follows the completion of a feasibility study and the authorisation of the Environmental Impact Statement by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in Botswana.
Following dispensation from the DEA, certain pre-construction work has already commenced on site at Masama, allowing Minergy to have the final mine commissioning in January 2019, and producing its first saleable coal the following month.
According to CEO Andre Bojé, the award, while delayed, is a significant milestone in Minergy’s journey, “The license is critical for Minergy to continue as a business. This will be the first open-cast coal mining license granted by the Government of Botswana, so the process was not without its challenges for both parties. However, Government was so confident in our economic model that we were never in doubt that these could be overcome,” says Bojé.
“In 2016, 4Mt of coal were exported from South Africa to the African continent, this is forecast to rise to 38Mt by 2030. Botswana and Minergy both have a significant role to play in fulfilling that increase in demand. Investors looking to invest in coal have lots of opportunity at the moment; the price of coal is rising, there is a deficit in supply and a strong demand, especially in the developing world which is driving up the prices and keeping them high. In my experience, there’s never been a better time to invest in coal,” he adds.